How to Optimize Images for SEO

Long gone are the days when marketing and sales endeavors were driven by simple print and television adverts. Incredible advancements in technology have enhanced the power of choice among consumers as a result of which Digital and Social Media marketing has ballooned. It has become imperative for any business, big or small, to divert a major portion of their budget towards creating and sustaining an enticing online persona for the company.
To benefit from the countless advantages that such an online presence could offer your business, it is also vital to steer traffic to your site. It might not exactly fall under that ‘simple and straightforward’ column but still, there are numerous techniques that can be adopted to accomplish this task. Unless you have spent the last decade and a half near the earth’s core, it is impossible to not have heard about the significance of SEO in fashioning a success story for every business. Considering that search engines are customers’ best buddies, ensuring that your site ranks high in a search for specific products or services will immensely aid in driving good traffic to your website, the upshot of which will be considerable sales conversions. Words are not your only comrades in this battle, images are too! Here is how you can optimize images on your site to improve overall traffic and ROI.

You first mountain to climb – Title, Alt text and Captions

Search engines are not secretly scanning your images to know what they actually are and how they blend with the rest of your content. Ensure you give an appropriate title separated by hyphens or underscores that can be easily picked up by the search engine. Do not leave it with system given names that are generic or numeric.
The image you use might be that of a workout maneuver but search engines won’t know that unless you provide an appropriate description. At least we are not yet that far ahead in technology! This is where the Alt Text option jumps in to save those of you in distress. You can either use the Alt Text box that pops up when you upload an image or manually add to the HTML but ensure you give accurate, simple keywords including specific identifiable product details, for the search engines to recognize the image. If possible give additional ones too without over stuffing. Next to texts, captions are what will help you bring down bounce rates thereby improving rankings. It is also important to accredit sources to specific images.

Keep an eye on the file size

Let’s face it! Patience has taken a journey into outer space and it isn’t coming back. No customer will wait for ages for your site images to download. Photoshop, Image Optimizer and the like can be used to easily reduce the size of an image to optimum levels. This will ensure that the page loading time is also significantly reduced.
Different file types have different pros and cons but for the best clarity with the least size, JPEG images are universally accepted as winners unless and until you are unable to get your image in this format.

Be wary of unnecessary images

Rank your images in accordance with their ability to blend with the general look and feel of your site as well as their significance to the overall message and take a call accordingly. Overstuffing images or utilizing them unnecessarily will increase loading time and ultimately result in you losing website traffic.
It is therefore important to find suitable and fast loading icons and images that are suitable to use with your written content. There are also many websites where you can download these icons and images and modify them to suit your products and services. This is a quick, easy and free option especially for those beginning the online journey.

Monitor and Adapt

With SEO, nothing can be written on stone. It is always practical to test, monitor and adapt to changing preferences of customers. It also helps to engage your customers beforehand in identifying the types, angles and number of product photographs and listings before zeroing in on the images.
A picture is certainly equal to a thousand words which is exactly why extreme care should be taken in the what, how and why of image uploading.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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